Home Contractor's CornerTotal Talk Make sure you’re seen on screen! Social media do’s and don’ts

Make sure you’re seen on screen! Social media do’s and don’ts

by Jennie Ward

David Glenwright is the Head of Training at JC Social Media. Below, he explains the ins and outs of social media for contractors, and what you can do to be seen more.

David Glenwright, Head of Training at JC Social Media.

There’s no escaping the fact that social media has become an essential marketing tool for businesses in all shapes and sizes.

In fact, it’s believed that there are over 50 million small businesses around the world using social media as a way to engage with their customers.

And it’s working as well – 9 in 10 Instagram users follow at least one business, and 78% of Facebook users purchase products and services that they discover on the platform.

With statistics like this, it can be frustrating for business owners who are putting time and energy into their social media presence, but aren’t generating the results that they expected, or feel they deserve for their efforts.

When we are so focused on our own business and content on social media, it’s easy to forget the context in which people see our posts.

The reality is that it’s rare for someone to go through a business’s own feed, looking at all their content in one sitting. Instead, users will tend to scroll through the news feed, a curated feed of content that pulls together posts from dozens if not hundreds of users and brands.

Your post is effectively in competition with all these other posts to make it onto this feed, and there is no shortage of competition.

“A great social media strategy recognises that being seen is more than half the battle, and that means creating content that is going to stick out on that newsfeed”

In fact, it’s believed that the average user will scroll through an incredible 90 metres of content every single day – that’s a daily news feed the height of Big Ben. If we assume that your post is roughly 10cm in size, that makes it one of 900 posts that someone will scroll through.

A great social media strategy recognises that being seen is more than half the battle, and that means creating content that is going to stick out on that newsfeed, capturing your audience’s focus and attention. Often referred to as ‘thumb-stopping’ content, here are three top tips to creating posts that will help you increase your visibility and generate genuine interest in your brand.

“If we come across a post that is overtly trying to sell something to us without first engaging us, there’s a good chance that we’ll scroll right past it”

Avoid the constant sell
It’s annoying when someone walks up to you out of the blue and starts trying to sell something, isn’t it? The exact same principle applies to social media.

People go onto these networks to escape the world and look at things that interest them and add value to their day. In the same way we hover over the skip button when an ad comes up on Youtube, if we come across a post that is overtly trying to sell something to us without first engaging us, there’s a good chance that we’ll scroll right past it.

It’s important to sell our products and services, there’s no denying that, but it doesn’t have to be the focus of everything that we post. Conversations about pricing, calls to encourage people to apply for a quote and links to your website can all put people off interacting, so try limiting these kinds of posts, and focusing on things that will educate, inform or even entertain your audience.

“An image or short video can easily convey to someone in moments something that would take written text seconds to get across, and in the world of social media, seconds is a long time”

Visual content excites
When we’re scrolling through our news feeds, we’re trying to digest as much as possible, as quickly as possible. It’s somewhat clichéd to say that a picture speaks a thousand words, but it’s true! An image or short video can easily convey to someone in moments something that would take written text seconds to get across, and in the world of social media, seconds is a long time.

A visually stimulating image doesn’t need to describe everything that you’re trying to get across, it just needs to illustrate it in a way that is going to draw interest in you and your brand. Think of it as the hook of your post – if they are intrigued by the image, they’ll read the text that follows.

“You can’t ‘beat’ the algorithm, but you can learn to understand what it’s looking for in a post”

Respect the algorithm
Algorithms are the beating heart of social networks. There is far too much content out there for us to see everything that is posted by the people and brands that we follow, so the algorithms decide what content to show users, and in what order. Think of the algorithm as the bouncer outside the Newsfeed nightclub. It decides if you get in, when, and whether you get that VIP top spot.

You can’t ‘beat’ the algorithm, but you can learn to understand what it’s looking for in a post. Concise amounts of text, good use of imagery, a healthy posting frequency that doesn’t oversaturate (3-5 posts per week on Facebook and Instagram, not per day!) and content that is easily likeable are just some of the things that the algorithm is looking out for.

There is a learning process to creating a great social media content strategy, and it’s a process that can take time. But if you pay close attention to what performs well and what doesn’t, and you consider what your audience wants to see rather than what you want to show your audience, it won’t be long before you really will start to be seen online.

www.jcsocialmedia.com

About the author: A social media specialist and consultant for over 10 years, David is a Meta accredited Lead Trainer, and was recently voted one of the top 50 business advisors in the UK by Enterprise Nation.

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